September 2006

So a friend of mine works at a nearby college and we met for coffee today at the Venetian Canal. In the process of discussing all sorts of different topics, one avenue that was proposed involved starting a resource center – much like the tutoring center I worked at for SNHU – at this school. While there’s no way of knowing for sure if would work, I’m pretty excited about the possibility. I’ve gotten in touch with my old tutoring center and begun setting up conversations about what goes into starting one. From there, if all the lights are green, we start trying to make this work. And that would mean a lot of changes, hopefully massively for the better, for myself.


At work today I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt from the Longhorn Steakhouse. Just a normal, everyday shirt with whatever the latest catch-phrase for the company printed on the back. But this one caught my eye and made me smile.

“Let’m eat steak!”

While there’s no solid correlation, the first thing this quote brought to mind was the Marie Antoinette quote, “let them eat cake,” to protesting peasants demanding access to ovens. Ovens were a right of the aristocracy of course (;)). However, the statement to “let them eat cake” was not one of civil rights of any sort. Cake, as far as I understand, was not the sweet, puffy, bready stuff covered in frosting we know today. It was the charred, burnt, carbonized bits of whatever had been cooked which were now scrapped off the bottom of the oven. These bits had become “caked” on and thus what Marie was saying was not a good thing, but a nasty insult.

That said, if the connection between Marie Antoinette and the Longhorn Steakhouse marketing department holds, I’m not sure if we should trust steaks coming from Longhorn. There might be some *bottom of the barrel* quality about them making eating their steaks not something good, but something to be dreaded and with disgust.

Way to go marketing agencies that don’t know history.

A new discovery via a friend of a friend. Ollie – a party friend of Aaron’s – exposed the existence of a incredibly interesting artist who works for the Boston Museum of Science. As far as I know, Paul Laffoley’s workshop is somewhere within the MoS offices. Furthermore, Ollie’s plans on visiting Laffoley now have me included. I am terribly interested in Laffoley’s work for reasons difficult to fully explain but I will try to get some pictures up so you have an idea. They are full of layered symbols both in word and sign. They are embroidered with hypercubes and mobius strips and probably any number of mathematically interesting figures.

Another part of my interest in Laffoley is that Ollie first mentioned only the title of one of his works. The Metatron. This immediately leapt out at me because Metatron is also the name of the angel in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy book “The Amber Spyglass” who is the right hand of the Authority (ie god, but it’s more complicated than that). I further find out that Metatron is supposedly the angel of death, the “active” angel of god, and the being that lead the Isrealites out of Egypt found in the book of Exodus. This is all according to Hebrew mythology, Cabbalah I believe. I’ll have to look that up again.

So my next question would be: What do Phillip Pullman and Paul Laffoley have in common (if anything of course), and how have their influences shaped what they put out as art?

I’ve been having a problem lately at work. Waking up. No, I don’t mean waking up from sleep, but from a definite stupor. At work every now and then, and with growing frequency, I feel like I suddenly become acutely aware that I am chopping lettuce or what not. The feeling is akin to waking up in a place other than your bed after having partied a little to hard the night before, trying to sort out where you are and where your shirt is. In this case, I’m not really looking for my shirt, but why I’m wearing an apron. And why am I risking my safety for someone else’s dinner? Didn’t I go through this already?

I take this whole thing to be a bad sign. If I’m starting to “wake up” so to speak from what I’m doing and not understand why I’m even there, my time is coming to a close. Unless they make drastic changes at work, I’ll be gone before it snows. Even looking at the practical side, I should find a way out. It’s not helping me move on with my life. I barely make enough money to get by. My sanity is in danger every moment I am there. And I can’t make plans due to lack of time, knowledge of when I’ll get out, or even lack of money. This isn’t good.

I was headed to work today, slightly late. Again.

En route I get a call from Scott, my coworker. He tells me that he caught whatever it was that I had for a cold last week and now has to call in sick. He asks if there is any way that I could cover his shift today (I guess thinking that I wasn’t working – Tuesdays are usually off for me). I couldn’t help but laugh of course, because I was already half-way there. But here was someone asking me if I could continue walking the direction I was *as a favor*. So with the Anelects of Confucious in my pocket I proceed to sit down in the park and relax for a bit. A small 30 minute break just sitting, reading, and watching. I love doing that. Particularly when I’m supposed to be somewhere else.

This time, I got the best of every world. Walking into work half an hour late isn’t good, but today – particularly because I was expecting to be slightly late anyway – I became the hero. I wasn’t late! I was saving the day! My presence was a godsend, not an irresponsible gesture of futility. That made me feel good about the day.

However, I overstepped my hero status when I was asked to fill in for Brian, another coworker scheduled to come in for the afternoon shift. With my head full of grandeur and amazingness, I said of course – and accepted my boss’s present of a free dinner for being such a good sport about the whole thing. I mean – for all they know, I did have the day off. It wasn’t bad exactly that I stayed. More that it was so bloody long, and the shift I took over was an incredibly boring one. So I was extra weary by the time I got out.

And of course it was raining.

So Ben, my roommate, picked me up.

But now I’m on the opening stretch of a five day work week preceded by only one day off (which in itself was both incredibly bad and amazingly good). Next week is looking pretty busy, not least of all is going to see Mark Z Danielewski down in Boston come Tuesday! I’ll be sure to post more on that, with pictures if possible.

I have no idea what this is about. Maybe a marketing ploy, maybe something else entirely. I’ll have to look it up when I have more time. Mark Danielewski’s “The Fifty Year Sword” only has something like 1000 English copies (true?) available anywhere and goes for a minimum of $86 at last bid on eBay. If you get it elsewhere you’re looking at $500-$750, but you’re going to get a signed copy for that price. What’s up with this? What is it?

I don’t know much yet.

  • OR is nothing like HoL.
  • The very construction of the book is disorienting. You read it from both sides simultaneously, with a definite effort (so far) to make parallel statements between Sam and Hailey (the main characters) despite being 100 years apart chronologically.
  • Hailey uses plant names in her writing. Sam uses animals.
  • I have no idea what the multiple references to “90 (or whatever number) go” means.[Update: My best guess is that it means number of people who died. But why?]
  • As Krystal pointed out, Hailey defitely appears to have been raped early on. This is a cause of huge tensions later on.
  • Mark Z Danielewski is a genius, completely insane, or both.

And for the most part that’s all I have so far. It’s amazing to see the book. It almost makes HoL feel “normal”. Not that HoL is or ever could be normal, but this is taking whatever Danielewski is trying to communicate to a whole other level. No one can accuse him of being stagnant and repetitive. At least not yet.

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